It’s fiscal reports season, which means a lot of information relevant to nobody except investors in and employees of whichever large publisher is the latest to host its financial results conference call. Last night it was Activision Blizzard’s turn, during which it revealed its best ever quarter, making a perfect end to its best ever year.
The company blitzed past its $1.7bn forecast for Q4 2017, making $2.04bn over the three months. This contributed to the $7.01bn revenue Activision Blizzard enjoyed for the entire fiscal year. An increase of $400m over FY 2016.
"This was a record quarter to cap off a record year for Activision Blizzard," said Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard. "In 2017, our community reached new milestones for engagement, our business delivered record revenues and cash flows, and we made important progress in building future growth opportunities such as the Overwatch League™. We couldn't be more excited for the opportunities ahead in 2018 to continue serving our players and fans."
During the investor call Activision Blizzard also mentioned a “major expansion” to Destiny 2 for later in the year. This is likely separate to the smaller expansions already announced and hopefully of a similar scale to Destiny’s 2015 expansion The Taken King. With sentiment and player numbers for Destiny 2 at an all time low, a large-scale expansion of the size (and quality) of The Taken King has the potential to fix a lot of issues and bring a lot of players back.
Elsewhere in the financial report Activision Blizzard boasts that “Call of Duty: WWII was the top-grossing console game of the year globally, with the franchise's biggest launch quarter sell-through on current-generation consoles. The game set a Sony PlayStation milestone as the biggest day one digital release ever.” Also that “Destiny 2 was the second-highest-grossing console game in North America for the year, had the largest PC launch in Activision history based on units, and had a higher attach rate on its first expansion than Destiny.”
All of these claims are based off data from NPD, GfK and GSD, so don’t necessarily reflect the truth across the entire planet. Another bold claim states that “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was the number one-selling remastered collection in PS4 history,” which would mean it outsold the Uncharted remaster collection. From the amount of time Crash spent at the top of the charts last year, this probably checks out.
Activision Blizzard expects to break its own records again next year, with forecast FY 2018 revenues of $7.35bn.